American Quilters | Vintage Textiles

 

 

All I needed to see were the words "American" & "Vintage" in the same sentence and my attention was drawn. Never mind that I was not just the only man in the room, but the only non-retirement aged person in the room as well. Yeah, well, vintage textiles and a mutual admiration for masterful craftsmanship have a way of pulling birds of a feather together (textile geeks).

The majority of the quilts at this show belong to a local collector, except the red and white "friendship quilt" above that is on loan from the Bedford, NY Historical Society. That particular piece was created in 1859 and given to the town's pastor as a token of his parishioner's friendship. Well preserved and restored, it is made of 81 unique squares, each of which is signed by the person who made it. 

The above quilt is called a cigar band quilt, aptly named because of being literally made from cigar bands. Back in the day, each bundle of cigars was wrapped and tied with satin ribbons. As good thrifty Yankees, the quilting public didn't want anything left to waste and pieced the ribbons together, making these beautiful designs to be used around their homes.

The above "design" style was accurately called a Crazy Quilt. No two were the same, as the object of these quilts was to use up and include anything and everything left over from other sewing projects and quilts.

All in all, the show had 70 or so quilts on display, each quite unique in pattern and color, and dating from 1859 through the 1970s. And yes, there were definitely more than a few fabrics used in these babies of which I was dying to have had some yardage. Oh, what ties could have come from some of those beautiful textiles!